WALKER – A Baton Rouge man was killed early Tuesday morning after he failed to negotiate a curve in Walker and hit another vehicle, Walker police said.
The fatality was identified as Brandon R. Hatch, 35, said Capt. John Sharp, public information officer with the Walker Police Department.
The accident left three others, two of them children, with moderate injuries.
The accident occurred at 7:15 a.m. on Burgess Avenue east of Peak Lane, he said, a half-mile west of Walker High School.
“Mr. Hatch was traveling east on Burgess Avenue in his 2002 GMC Yukon, when his vehicle crossed the center line of the roadway in a curve just west of Walker High School,” Sharp said.
“Upon entering the westbound lane of Burgess Avenue, Mr. Hatch’s vehicle collided with a 2012 Dodge Durango driven by Rebecca L. Toms, 30, of Walker,” he said. “Ms. Toms’ sons, ages 9 and 8, were occupants in the Durango.”
“The passenger compartment of Mr. Hatch’s vehicle was on fire, but using the fire extinguishers from their police vehicles, officers were able to keep the fire contained and away from Mr. Hatch until Fire Protection District 4 arrived and extinguished the blaze,” Sharp said.
Sharp said Hatch appeared to have been killed on impact.
First responders and Acadian Ambulance paramedics evaluated Toms and her sons, transporting the three to an area hospital, he said.
“Ms. Toms and her children appeared to have suffered moderate injuries in the accident,” Sharp said. “At present, we are anxiously awaiting word as to how they are all doing.”
“Based upon our investigation thus far, we believe that Mr. Hatch was likely impaired when the accident occurred,” Sharp said. “The autopsy results and toxicology reports will tell us more. Speed may also have been a factor in the accident.”
The section of Burgess Road near Kent’s Plumbing was closed until almost 10 a.m., Sharp said.
“While it is unusual to encounter an impaired motorist so early in the day, this accident shows us that an encounter with an impaired driver can occur anywhere and any time of day,” Police Chief David Addison said.
“By remaining vigilant for impaired motorists, as well as distracted drivers, at all times of the day, we can be alert and prepared to take evasive action and give ourselves a better chance of avoiding these types of deadly crashes.” Addison said.
“Having a fatal accident in our community is always upsetting and this tragedy is no exception,” Addison said. “Our prayers are with the Toms family, as well as the Hatch family.”